2020 US Open men's final results: Dominic Thiem outlasts Alexander Zverev for first Grand Slam title
Thiem had to gut out five sets to take home his first Grand Slam championship
Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Zverev in an epic five-set match, 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), to win the men's singles title at the 2020 US Open. It was Thiem's first Grand Slam title, and he becomes the first player in the Open Era to rally from two sets down in a US Open final. Thiem is also the first player to capture a Grand Slam title from two sets down since Gaston Gaudio at 2004 French Open.
For the first time in six years, there was a first-time Grand Slam champion at the US Open.
Thiem joins Thomas Muster (1995 French Open) as the only Austrian men to win a Grand Slam championship. Prior to the US Open win, Thiem had lost his three other Grand Slam finals appearances, with the most recent loss to Novak Djokovic in five-sets at this year's Australian Open.
Thiem battled back from losing the first two sets to win three straight sets, including a fifth set tiebreaker, to win the match. It is the second consecutive year that the US Open men's singles final has gone the distance, and fourth consecutive Grand Slam men's singles final to have gone five sets.
In front of a noticeably quiet, fan-less crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York, the pair played for four hours with both feeling the effects on their legs toward the end. Both Thiem and Zverev are known for their aggressive baseline playing, and near the end of the match, the pair continued to battle it out in long, grueling baseline rallies.
With Zverev serving for the match in the fifth set at 5-3, Thiem broke at 40-30 and followed it up with three exceptional points, including back-to-back forehand winners to level the set at five apiece.
In the fifth set tiebreaker, Thiem saved two championship points on second serves. Zverev suffered from two double faults and for the winning point, Thiem passed Zverev at the net. Entering Sunday's tiebreaker, Thiem boasted a career percentage of 51 percent of tiebreaks won.
"First of all, I want to congratulate Dominic on the first of many Grand Slam titles," Zverev said after the match. "I wish you would have missed a little bit more, so I could have held that trophy, but here I am giving the runner-up speech."
Thiem and Zverev have a friendship, off-court, going back to 2014. In his post-match speech, Thiem told Zverev: "I wish we could have had two winners today. You're going to make it, 100 percent, you're going to make your parents proud, your family proud who were at home."
After Djokovic defaulted in the fourth round, all three members of men's tennis' 'Big Three' were missing from the 2020 US Open men's field. Roger Federer missed this year's US Open due to continued rehab for previous knee operations while Rafael Nadal chose to opt-out due to concerns over the coronavirus.
This not only cleared the way for a first-time champion, but their absence also signaled the future of men's tennis. With 27-year-old Thiem's US Open win, this could very well serve as the beginning of a new era. Contrary to the women's tennis game which has seen several first-time Slam winners in recent years, the men's game has been waiting to see a new name step up to the challenge.
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